Gollnest & Kiesel is the number one toy manufacturer!
Every two years, the independent, medium-sized industry information service “markt-intern” conducts a major survey among more than 4,000 toy retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the performance of toy manufacturers. In the current 2018 survey, Gollnest & Kiesel won the competition convincingly and was again voted the number one toy manufacturer.
Gold medals in key commercial disciplines
In his commendation, editor-in-chief Oliver Knoll from the editorial team for toys at markt-intern, emphasises: “Gollnest & Kiesel occupies the gold medal positions in central commercial disciplines. The key areas here are: realisable trade margin, turnover rate and conditions/order terms! These core disciplines show who is supporting the specialist retailers and securing the economically necessary margin for them on a long-term basis!”
Gerhard Gollnest and Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel: partners to the specialist trade
Since the company was founded in 1971, Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel and Gerhard Gollnest have seen themselves as partners to the specialist retail trade. “The specialist trade employs qualified people and brings life to the town centres, where discounters have destroyed jobs and do not participate in social life. The specialist trade acts as a cultural asset as well as supplying good toys. It is important to us to see our toys offered in a worthy setting and not on the lifeless shelves of discounter stores.”
“We know that great efforts will also be required in the future to meet these demands – by both the specialist retail trade and the manufacturers. We could make it easy for ourselves and utilise all channels to unconditionally accept the delivery conditions of the supposedly big players. But that is not our way! We are therefore particularly pleased about the gold medals in the individual disciplines realisable margin, turnover rate, Internet policy and conditions, because these areas are at the heart of our sales policy.”
“But we are also very pleased about the great leaps in many other disciplines such as product quality or sales support. We would appear to be on the right track.”
“We will not rest on our laurels. You can look forward with us to many more surprises this year.”
With imagination and creativity
Gerhard Gollnest and Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel started making toys 34 years ago. To this day, the two founders and managing directors of the company dedicate themselves to every single product made by the company. Gerhard Gollnest thinks up ideas for new toys and discusses them with product development and designers. Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel converts the designs into products and supervises the company’s own production facilities around the globe.
Gerhard Gollnest and Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel have been business partners for more than 30 years. Before they founded their own company, they learned the wholesale and export trades in the same firm. “We thought then that we also get something started ourselves,” says Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel. And so the young company was founded in an archway in Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg district. It has grown steadily since then and for over 20 years it has continued to expand in Güster, a small town outside Hamburg.
Today, the entrepreneurs, who have their roots in specialist retail trade families, employ 600 people worldwide in the various production facilities and at the company headquarters, the think tank of the toy company.
“We produce toys for children’s hands, heads and souls,” says Gerhard Gollnest. Over 500 Gollnest & Kiesel employees worldwide are busy turning a thousand bright ideas into a thousand bright colours.
The Gollnest & Kiesel brands
Four brands have gathered under the umbrella of Gollnest & Kiesel – but the one with the longest tradition is already 100 years older and has only been part of the parent company for five years.
Heimess is an approximately 60-year-old brand for baby toys made of fine wood. Soother chains and touch rings are manufactured in Vaihingen an der Enz in Baden-Württemberg.
Holztiger is over 15 years old. There are more than 400 figures such as cows, pigs, dogs, dragons, monkeys and humans for eight different worlds, all made of sturdy maple wood.
goki is the company’s own brand. The lion’s share of sales is generated with this brand for high-quality wooden toys.
Gollnest & Kiesel
Gollnest & Kiesel is Europe’s innovative manufacturer of wooden toys and the largest toy company in northern Germany. Its brands HEIMESS (baby toys made of wood, made in Germany), goki and HOLZTIGER are well known in the toy and gift trade. The company was founded 37 years ago by Gerhard Gollnest and Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel, who are now the managing directors of the company together with Frank Jungclaus. The HEIMESS brand has existed for 60 years, and Holztiger for handcrafted figures made of wood for around 20 years. More than 2,000 different products form one of the most widely varied ranges anywhere in the toy industry.
“We produce toys for children’s hands, heads and souls,” says Gerhard Gollnest. Over 500 Gollnest & Kiesel employees worldwide are busy making the world a bit more colourful every day.
Gollnest & Kiesel places a very special emphasis on forestation. “Whoever takes something from nature must give something back to it,” believes Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel, who donates a new forest every year to Germany’s least wooded state, Schleswig-Holstein. A tree is planted for every newborn child in the northernmost federal state. In this way, 300,000 new beech, maple and oak trees have been planted over the past 14 years.